News, Power Generation & Electrical

Long lasting and safer projects: DNV GL’s new battery scorecard benchmarks performance and safety of comprehensive range of battery technologies

Scorecard addresses cost, delay and transparency challenges. Batteries should not be treated the same: similar chemistries will have varying sensitivities to degradation. Ventilation and water as a combined toolkit are essential for managing battery fires

OAKLAND, California, – DNV GL today released its second annual Battery Performance Scorecard, which provides an independent ranking and evaluation of different types of batteries, based on testing performed in DNV GL’s battery performance and safety test laboratories. It also provides industry guidelines for developers and operators to ensure their systems have been designed to mitigate risks such as battery fires.

DNV GL’s Product Qualification Program (PQP) tests a range of batteries, including next-generation Lithium-ion cells, to provide the industry with reliable, rigorous, and consistent data to determine what constitutes high battery performance. The results of these tests are compiled in the Battery Performance Scorecard.

Key findings of the report include:

  1. Batteries of similar chemistry will have varying sensitivities to degradation
  2. No battery does well in all areas of testing; most batteries demonstrate a strength in one or more categories
  3. Battery fire safety depends on the quantity of cascading battery cells, ventilation and water as a combined toolkit for managing a battery fire.

“The energy storage market is growing, and batteries are a crucial component of the energy transition. However, to ensure that the increasing number of energy storage projects and battery deployments are safe, reliable and high performing, a robust and independent testing program is foundational to the future of the industry,” said Richard S. Barnes, Executive Vice President North America at DNV GL- Energy. “The Scorecard will help to accelerate the market, making data about battery safety and performance more transparent and easier to verify with independent reviews.”

Energy storage technologies continue to mature and advance while energy markets seek new ways to link variable renewable output to the peaks and valleys of power demand. Recent performance disputes and battery fire incidents are now also bringing safety and reliability of energy storage systems to the top of the agenda for EPCs, investors and developers. Based on extensive fire-testing of battery cells, modules, sub-system components, and systems, the 2019 Battery Performance Scorecard provides industry recommendations to ensure safety:

  1. Battery systems should be designed to limit cell-to-cell propagation
  2. Although counterintuitive, use water to extinguish fires
  3. Ensure combustible gases can be ventilated in a fire emergency

While there is a very low probability of battery fires, the consequences of such fires can be great, whether the fire originates in the battery, or is caused by factors external to the battery system.

“Reliable and independent data about performance, lifetime, and safety have been historically hard to find in the energy storage industry,” said Davion Hill, U.S. energy storage business leader at DNV GL. “The Scorecard provides a roadmap for EPCs, developers, and owners to understand which battery technologies will work best for their project, mitigate risks like performance shortfalls or fire, and ensure that their project achieves its goals.”

The report is available for download at www.dnvgl.com/2019BatteryScorecard.

DNV GL is exhibiting at booth #422 at the 2019 Energy Storage North America (ESNA) Conference this week in San Diego, California, where experts will be available to provide additional insights related to the Scorecard. Hill will also be participating on the “Suppliers are from Mars, Developers are from Venus” panel on Thursday, November 7th at 2:50 p.m.